Background facts and information: The French and Indian War (Seven years War) had left Britain with a massive war debt and the British looked for ways to reduce the war debt by imposing new taxes in the colonies. Tensions rose in the colonies due to the the demands made, and taxes, imposed by the British Parliament. There were no American Colonists in the British parliament which led to the cry of "No taxation without representation!" American politicians and patriots, led by the Sons of Liberty secret society, started to protest against the British laws and taxes. The Sons of Liberty and American merchants initiated a boycott English goods In response to the new taxes.
Nonimportation Agreements and the Sons of Liberty
The Sons of Liberty were determined to enforce the Nonimportation Agreements stimulate a consciousness of colonial grievances against British rule. The actions and protests of the Sons of Liberty moved on from peaceful meetings, organising boycotts and minor covert actions to public displays of civil unrest and violence. The above intimidating notice by the Sons of Liberty against the merchant William Jackson clearly shows one of the methods they adopted in an attempt to to enforce the Nonimportation Agreements and at the same time rouse the colonists to take action. The said merchant, William Jackson, might also have been subjected to being publicly 'tarred and feathered'.
The First Nonimportation Agreements
The first Nonimportation Agreements were started by the Stamp Act of 1765. To protest taxation without representation, New York merchants agreed to boycott British imports until Parliament repealed the stamp tax. They persuaded the merchants of Boston and Philadelphia to do the same. American colonists also followed suit. Under acute pressure from British exporters who lost business and were losing money, the British Parliament repealed the Stamp Act within a year.